No more 'Soldier First' Policy

#1
Was told a rumour about a year or two ago that the REME were thinking of getting rid of the Soldier First policy, thus pioneering the way for the rest of the Corps to concentrate on their trade.
I find this hard to believe but would be interested as to whether there is any truth in the rumour and what you all think (surely a VM or Reccy mech has to be able to soldier if he is called onto the frontline).
I myself am in a corps full of frustrated infanteers (Signals) so would love to see the look on some of our lads faces if they get told to stop arsing around with cam cream. ;D
 
#2
Just a rumour put out by some lightweight who didn't want to earn his pay probably.
Like you said, tradesmen need to be soldiers first, especially, but not only, those in fitter sections.
We may never be as good at section attacks as the grunts, but without the basic skills we are worse than useless.
 
#3
With the Iraqis' ambush and capture of members of what appears to be a Yank workshop Platoon/Company it must stand to reason that everyone going anywhere near to  where the lead if flying - it doesn't have to be close to the FEBA even-  needs to be;

A soldier first,
A soldier second,
and whatever else he (or she) needs to be a poor third.

Leave the 'civilians in uniform' mentality to the Crabs, they are a long, long way from where they need the skills to get themselves out of a tight situation.
 

OldSnowy

LE
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#4
BH -

Couldn't agree more - Soldiering is the key skill, which is why they aren't all just working in Quickfit.

I transferred across to REME from the Inf some years ago, and I was astonished at the overall lack of soldiering skills.  This is by no means a general case, as many Cfn are very, very switched on (after all, they are pretty bright, esp. compared to most other Corps) but there are plenty of Cpls who just cannot be trusted to keep their head in a dangerous situation.

The poor Yanks who were captured just show that these days, with no front line, and enemy liable to be anywhere, we alll need to be Soldiers 1st, 2nd and 3rd.  

This isn't helped by the drive towards 'political correctness' in all its forms.  Who would have even imagined, a few years ago, having a SMC fro non-FE Soldiers.  They are routine now, I'm afraid. :-[
 
#5
Who knows, maybe recent events will drive a change in attendance at those mil skills weekends where you know exactly who will be there and those who won't bother.
Perhaps they'll re-appraise and brush up on those skill, or maybe think better of it and hand their kit in.

Couldn't agree more that the basic soldiering skills are invaluable.
 
#6
Having spent my whole time at infantry of funny unit LAD's as an armourer, there is no way in the world that armourers 'COULD' ever lose the soldier first policy, and it would be stupid if they did.

I've been everything from mortars to sf to recce platoon to section commander in a rifle company, and I enjoyed it too  ;D
 
#7
I myself am in a corps full of frustrated infanteers (Signals) so would love to see the look on some of our lads faces if they get told to stop arsing around with cam cream. ;D
you can only dream!
seriously though All soldiers should be up to the same basic standard
i blame the ATRs for going soft on recruits
 
#8
Hey Shotgun

It wasn't untill recently that they brought GPMG back into the system.

Who else can handle a GPMG at section and OHF role.

(Oh, and on a 434)

Only the Armourers.
 
#9
Hey Shotgun

It wasn't untill recently that they brought GPMG back into the system.

Who else can handle a GPMG at section and OHF role.

(Oh, and on a 434)

Only the Armourers.

Absolutely right.

In the Falklands who were the SF gunners, with an infantryman as a second and pay corps wallah as a pack mule? The Armourers because they were better at it than the rifle company guys! lol

Who always did the brigade GPMG march and shoots? The Armourers..(mind they used to have at least two of us from small LAD's in pistol, rifle and every other shooting team)

In funny units who always got picked to carry the GPMG and man the SF? Armourers...and so on and so forth.

Shyte, whenever we had battalion or section or platoon or whatever training who was always picked as instructors instead of the, supposedly, trained instructors from various training wings of the infantry? Armourers. That included mortars, milan etc.

NI? Who got picked as close support guard in civvies because we could handle pistols better, and properly, instead of most infantrymen, including recce platoons? Armourers.

Armourers especially should be proud of the soldier forst policy because it is absolutely true that armnourers can do an infantrymans job at least as good as they can.

And good job too.

It's funny, and I remember my first taste of it, but armourers fresh out of the factory always have a kind of massive shock when they arrive at a rifle battalion LAD and find they are infantrymen, lol. I can remember more than once them saying things like...but I'm REME! LOL!!! I used to say, that's right son, now grab that fecking GPMG and get your arse down to C Company with full kit, lol, and take that pay corps tosser with you to carry the tripod and spares.
 
#10
Well done shotgun, ref Armourers and their soldier first policy. ???  It must come in handy when you are in your grotty little shop somewhere hidden from the ASM's view, smoking tabs and chucking arras, and fcuking every one off that dares ask you what the main headline is on the Sun news paper that you are reading at the time. ;) Top notch. ;D
 
#11
Well done shotgun, ref Armourers and there soldier first policy. ???  It must come in handy when you are in your grotty little shop somewhere hidden from the ASM's view, smoking tabs and chucking arras, and fcuking every one off that dares ask you what the main headline is on the Sun news paper that you are reading at the time. ;) Top notch. ;D

ASM? What's one of those? In all my time I never once served with anything higher than a staff bloke, and he wasn't a tiffy.

I should have made it clearer, I'm referring to armourers who serve with LAD's in infantry battalions or funny units. As for the rest...fckued if I know what they do, I avoided workshops like the plague. My one and only experience of a 'proper' REME workshop was when I had to go from the rifle company in Kelly's Garden to Moody Brook to scrounge some 81 mil mortar spares, and guess what? I had my bergan pinched. So my experience of workshops isn't all happy and smelling of roses.  ;D
 
#12
I read that you love guns big and small. :D  Is 120/155mm big enough for you. 8)  Can you be trusted to look after  them now we are all together, due to our glorious Corps fantastic idea. ;D  Mind your finger nails. :D
 
#13
I read that you love guns big and small. :D  Is 120/155mm big enough for you. 8)  Can you be trusted to look after  them now we are all together, due to our glorious Corps fantastic idea. ;D  Mind your finger nails. :D
Ahhhh, now I see, not an armourer/worker/soldier, but a gun fitter!

I love any guns, big or small, sure, but I don't like working on those big pansy things that chuck big projectiles from way behind the lines, I'd feel too much like a REMF!  :p
 
#14
Nice one Shotgun.  ;D
Well retorted.  :)
Ha Ha. Big respect to your Trade skills. Hammer Screwdriver and a Vernier Caliper. :)
RAC may have something to say about the front line bit. ???
Don't suppose you are bothered though. :)
 
#15
with the fighting over and the gulf done (again) there was a couple of times i needed the soildier first training, the last thing we needed out there was headless chickens roaming around without a clue to what was going on around them (and i dont mean the infantry) ;D ;D
 
#16
Are you aware that the role of REME during WAR is to repair the Army`s kit.  This is the only role that G3 Ops require of REME in a warfighting scenario.  The problem is there are too many officers in DEME(A) (the doctrine people) who believe the opposite and hence the corps ends up with a half skilled organisation who cant repair equipment in the most efficient manner.  The art of bodging believe it or not is a skill we need badly given that there aint that many spare parts lying about in the desert.  You can only carry out a good bodge when you have expert knowledge and and the right level of experience hence the need for REME to concentrate more on the trade side of life as opposed to doubling about the battlefield with an unzeroed SA80.  That said the incident on the Basra road was due to the commander leaving his Lines of Communication exposed.  A good commander always protects his LOC at all costs, (ask the German 6th Army commander at Stalingrad if Im right).  Here endeth the lesson.

;)
 
#17
Soldier or trade first??

I suspect the RMP may have a refreshing view on this one just now ??

If you want to be a trades person first , surely you join the RAF with assured employment to 55.
I met a bloke in RAF Aldergrove who had been off camp once in civvies with a pistol!!
a veritable RAF hero in his own lunchtime
 
#18
G3 ops only want REME to be tradesmen because they do not understand G4.  
The OCs of Armd Inf Coys and indeed the BG Comds in GW2 wanted tradesmen and soldiers. Luckily the REME could meet their needs. If not then Serco or Kwik Fit could have done the job.
We are not civvies in uniform.  Except in aviation circles maybe.... :p
 
#19
C and A,

I can only reiterate the point I made on 24 March

* Soldier FIRST.
* Soldier SECOND.
* Tradesman THIRD.

Just because the tradesman bit comes third it does not mean that the person should be any less of a tradesman than s/he is now. And I do not believe the switch to Tradesman 1st -  Soldier 2nd comes from DEME(A)

Unfortunately there is a small band of individuals right across the trade spectrum (not just in Aviation, Nige) who perceive the ethos of being a good competent soldier as 'uncool'. They bring a 4th line mentality to the front (quite literally). This is only magnified when the individual has been given rank because of trade and does not have the skills or experience to command.  

I was often derided for taking seriously the Soldier First policy.  Hopefully some of these 'cool' individuals wake up before they find themselves in a situation where the last thing that goes through their myopic brains is
"Fcuk...... I wish I had listened last time the RD bod was droning on about ................."

Should it not be - Marte et Arte ?????
 
#20
There are good arguments for both sides of the debate however my point is that REME train half the time at trade and half the time at soldiering so using this policy we neither make good tradesmen nor good soldiers (on the whole).  There may be a few individuals who break this mould but I am talking about the Corps as a whole.

In a situation where soldiering is needed ie defending your FRT, ask yourself would you be happy with your REME section or a platoon of guardsmen defending you .  On the other hand, would you want a platoon of guardsmen or a band of highly skilled tradesmen to help fix the MBTs and guided weapons kit that have been damaged so the front line can fight the WAR for us.  As long as there exists this comprimise, REME will not excel at being the professional body they claim to be.

throwing into the pot now  :-/
 

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